WASHINGTON — Citing his own experience as a teenage smoker, President Obama on Monday predicted that a new law giving the Food and Drug Administration sweeping power to regulate tobacco will help young people avoid the smoking habit he has struggled with for years.
The measure, which Obama signed into law Monday, will ban candy-, fruit- and spice-flavored cigarettes and prohibit use of tobacco-product logos and brand names in sponsoring athletic and entertainment events.
The law also requires that tobacco companies fully disclose ingredients and additives, stop targeting youth with their marketing campaigns, quit using terms such as "light," "low" and "mild" to market their products, and include warning labels on packaging that dominate the front and rear panels.
Nearly a quarter of high school students in the U.S. smoke cigarettes, according to the National Institutes of Health.
And people who start smoking before the age of 21 have the hardest time quitting, the agency reports. About 30% of youth smokers will die early from a smoking-related disease.